MAMA wraps up a year of impact and scale

It’s amazing that in 2013 alone MAMA has reached more than 500,000 mothers in almost 70 countries and has grown a community of nearly 300 organizations. We overcame language barriers as our messages were translated into 20 languages; nationally launched the MAMA South Africa program on May 12; and made compelling mini documentaries on our work around the world, including one on our innovative public-private partnership. These significant milestones in mHealth are rare and are additional evidence that our model to provide access to life-saving health information via mobile phones works!


We started the year with a newly formed MAMA Global team of four that has nearly doubled in size. Our team is providing greater support for our country programs and responding to the increasing demands for MAMA messages and our global learning tools. As I think back to January 2013, we had just celebrated the national launch of MAMA Bangladesh and our team traveled to Johannesburg in support of the MAMA South Africa team in their final stages of brokering a strategic partnership with the Vodacom Foundation. Only a month later, MAMA was nominated for GSMA’s 2013 Global Mobile Award in the Best Mobile Health Product or Service category and featured in a number of international, top news outlets, including PBS NewsHourVoice of America, as well as a mention in the Harvard Business Review. I am still in awe of the work of MAMA Bangladesh, our first country program that launched a media and ad campaign that reached 7.7 million people and increased subscription growth by 25% each month.


In 2013, we listened to mHealth implementers and expanded our suite of mobile content, adding post-partum family planning messages and healthy baby messages up to age three. With the help of the MAMA Community, we released a report, “Sparking a Global Movement with MAMA” that highlights the amazing mHealth work of Living GoodsCDC FoundationHealth Alliance International, and VillageReach. We continue to highlight the progress of MAMA Community members, including the work of Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF) in Malawi. Thanks to the ongoing support of BabyCenter, we have been successful in developing culturally sensitive, stage-based messages for mothers who live in the most hard-to-reach places around the world.


Proud barely begins to describe how I feel as I recall all of our achievements. Our innovative, tenacious work aims to achieve one main goal: to save the lives of mothers and their babies.


This could not be done at the quality and scale without the support of the MAMA family - our innovative partners- USAIDJohnson & JohnsonUN FoundationmHealth AllianceBabyCenter, and our country programs, MAMA Bangladesh and MAMA South Africa. I am grateful for our global team and the many organizations that shared information with us on mHealth for mothers in their countries. Together, we are all guiding mothers and their family members through the stages pregnancy and up to year three of their baby’s life.


I have no doubt 2014 will find MAMA reaching even greater heights and making more progress towards scale, impact, and sustainability. In the coming year, we plan to launch MAMA India; are exploring partnership opportunities in Nigeria; and are working diligently to roll out our Affiliate program. These are all critical components to helping us reach tens of millions of mothers in the coming years.   


I hope you will continue to follow MAMA and help us support more mothers around the world!